They don't build ‘em like the used to, and in Saab's case they probably won't be building them at all any more. Still, as Nice Price or Crack Pipe has found, there's still plenty of Saab to go around.
Erik Carlsson earned the nickname på taket, or "on the roof" due to his frequent refusal to heed that old race driver maxim to keep the shiny side up. Regardless of how many times he made his Saab rally cars turn turtle, he still achieved an impressive string of first- and second-place wins across three continents, and managed to snag Stirling Moss' sister as both his wife and frequent co-pilot. One of the last cars the Carlsson raced prior to retirement was the V4-engined 96, and a rally-lighted example of that car is today's candidate.
Firstly an aeronautics company, there's truth in Saab's well-worn axiom- Born of Jets. Their first cars were simple expressions in aerodynamics, eschewing the chrome and convolutions of styling taking hold of the industry in the 1950s. The two-stroke twin with thermo-syphon water cooling and free-wheeling three speed manual transmission was also unlike the drivetrains of most of its competitors, and reflected the Swedes' exposure to post-war Eastern-Block technological thinking.
By the time this '67 96 was built, the company had lessened their reliance on the two-stroke engine, which by now had gained a third lung. Instead, this car is powered by the 1,498-cc pushrod V4 from the German Ford Taunus. That engine produced 65-bhp out of the box, but this car has a rebuilt engine under its bulbous hood, and what with its ported heads, forged 40-over pistons, and big valves, the seller claims a børk-inducing 92 horses.
Not just the engine has seen attention in this Trollhättan terror, the rest of the driveline is equally renewed, as is much of the rest of the car, for a claimed ten thousand in mechanical work to date. All that makes for one tasty Swedish meatball, and one that will let you experience a little of what made rally greats like Carlsson and Per Eklund so successful.
But is it worth $6,750 for the chance to go på taket yourself? Or, does that price make you deep-six this 96 from your consideration?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.